Thursday, February 22, 2007

Poor little Callisto...

...experiencing technical difficulties. Where did Callisto go? My original file is gone! :(

(Non video types, skip to the end of this paragraph) I'm trying to get the digital recording from the betacam back online. I copied it to a digital 8mm tape, but got rid of that camera, so I can't recapture the video. I ordered a digital 8 camera from ebay but wound up with... a camera that records to DVDs? Not at all what I need. There, nerd talk over.

I FINALLY have the camera now and plan to get that and other neglected videos back online (including one that didn't even make it onto the DVD). In the meantime, I will shamelessly plug myself here:

Come vote for Snowbird on "The Lot!"

"Wait," you ask, "didn't I already vote for this film once?"

Well, how would I know? Who are you? And how in the world did you just type that above?

Yes, this film is up on the IFC, and yes, I begged my blog viewership to go and vote for it there (that's right, all ten of you- according to feedburner statistics, anyway). BUT this time, I might win $1 million development from Steven Spielberg to make my first feature AND I would be on the equivalent of American Idol for filmmakers. Just think about it, you could be watching TV and saying, "wow! I actually know that very sad, sad person!!"

Plus, there is now a 45 second introduction before the film that includes drawings and a moving, talking me (unlike the stationary me in the upper right who just produces text).

Okay, you have been sufficiently coerced. End transmission...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Galilean Satellites- Ganymede

If Europa could be considered the "audience favorite" of my films, Ganymede would have to be her cute little brother.

This is the third film in The Galilean Satellites series. It is quite a bit shorter than the previous two, but was easily the hardest of the series to make (easily the hardest- bad English, I know, but funny enough for me to leave it there).

The imagery is both digital and film in origin. The opening sequence of photographs consists of digital images taken by the Galileo probe that visited Jupiter recently. The film imagery is clear 16mm film leader that has been scratched, pitted, twisted and bent to refract the polarized light.

The soundtrack consists of radio signals received from the moon's ionosphere. Unlike the previous two films, however, I have not manipulated this sound in any way. In fact, you can hear Ganymede's voice on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's page.

This film tries to capture the essence of Ganymede, who, like his sisters, is pulled and pushed by the tidal forces of Jupiter and the other moons (sibling rivalry...even the planets and Greek deities suffer from it).

Click on the above image to watch the film in Quicktime or go to Ganymede on to see the film in flash video format. Click on the title of this post if you would like to know more about the film.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Galilean Satellites- Io

This is the second film in The Galilean Satellites series. It is an artistic study of the wrenching and twisting of Jupiter's volcanic moon, Io.

This film is quite a bit longer than the others. It is also what I feel to be the "scariest" film I've ever made. The soundtrack consists of stretched and manipulated radio emissions from Io's ionosphere, while the image consists of various objects that I'm twisting and pulling in polarized light.

Io is constantly pulled and pushed upon by her sister moons and the immense gravity of Jupiter. This film probes into the beauty of turmoil. Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system, and is actually the hottest body in the solar system, outside of the sun (which reminds me of that Groucho Marx quote: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read").

Again, imagine this quite a bit bigger than it actually is. Much of my work is meant to be seen on a very large scale. I have wanted to project this particular film around an entire room as an installation.

It was originally shot on 16mm film and is a sound piece:

Click on the above image to watch the quicktime, or go to Io on to watch it in Flash video. Click on the title of this post to learn more about the film.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Galilean Satellites: Europa

This is the first in a four-part series of films dedicated to legendary filmmaker and friend, Stan Brakhage. It is also dedicated to a group of filmmakers with whom I shared orbit around the massive scope of Brakhage's work.

This has been the "audience favorite" of my works so far- at least, it has traveled around the world to all sorts of festivals and gotten great feedback (though the New York Times called it both one of the "most ambitious" films in its program as well as "relentlessly abstract." I'm not quite sure how to take the latter, but every artist knows that "ambitious" feels like a blow-off. I digress...)

As such, I am a bit reluctant to post it online, where it will be seen at 1/100th of its intended size, with resampled sound and dropped frames. Still, I'm reaching out into the volgosphere! It will be traveling around the country soon, so perhaps it might inspire a few souls to go see it when it comes to town (more details as they become available).

It is a 16mm sound film that imagines the icy hatched-marked world of Jupiter's moon, Europa. The soundtrack consists of recordings from several probes that visited the moon (specifically, the "sounds" are coming from the atmosphere of Jupiter), as well as whale songs- an imagining of the possible life beneath the icy surface. The imagery combines hand-painted liquid crystals and Super-8mm footage from a local aquarium (hooray for (now extinct) Kodachrome).

Click on the image above to watch the film (in quicktime or go to Europa on for the flash video- I am slowly working on adding other formats as well).